An acetylation switch of the NLRP3 inflammasome

an illustration of a woman, shown from behind, with markers of inflammation


It is well documented that the rate of aging can be slowed, but it remains unclear to which extent aging-associated conditions can be reversed. How the interface of immunity and metabolism impinges upon the diabetes pandemic is largely unknown.

Here, we show that NLRP3, a pattern recognition receptor, is modified by acetylation in macrophages and is deacetylated by SIRT2, an NAD +-dependent deacetylase and a metabolic sensor.

We have developed a cell-based system that models aging-associated inflammation, a defined co-culture system that simulates the effects of inflammatory milieu on insulin resistance in metabolic tissues during aging, and aging mouse models; and demonstrate that SIRT2 and NLRP3 deacetylation prevent, and can be targeted to reverse, aging-associated inflammation and insulin resistance.

These results establish the dysregulation of the acetylation switch of the NLRP3 inflammasome as an origin of aging-associated chronic inflammation and highlight the reversibility of aging-associated chronic inflammation and insulin resistance.

FULL TEXT: Cell Metabolism

EDITOR’S NOTE: the deacetylation step, performed by SIRT2, is switched ‘on’ in healthy cells. This is one more part of the NAD+ / sirtuin puzzle. The goal is to keep NAD+ and sirtuins functioning normally.